Landing a coveted internship with Stryker Instruments was one thing, but senior Sara Simic’s determination earned her recognition at the company that was unexpected.

Simic, a double major in food and consumer package goods marketing and integrated supply management, was tasked with developing a sales enablement tool for Stryker Instrument’s neuro, spine, ears, nose and throat department.

“I was given the contact information of SAVO (the company that provides the tools), and I took over this project on my own,” says Simic. “It was a very large responsibility but I had full faith in myself that I could do it.”

Simic developed the concept for the new sales tool and worked with SAVO in Chicago to ensure the tool provided the needed results.

“Two months later, my sketch came to life,” she says. The next step was to share the good news with the department’s sales force—all 130 of them. Simic did so by sharing a “teaser” of the new tool during the department meeting last August.

Her success with the local sales force led to her next opportunity—launching the tool nationally early in January. So, Simic travelled to Arizona for the Stryker Instruments national sales meeting to introduce the tool. “I was thrilled to see the reactions of the sales force and the vice presidents and managers who also attended my session,” says Simic. “Word traveled fast throughout the entire division, and I’m now working to further advance the tool.”

Her success as an intern led to continuing part-time work as a contractor for the company so she could continue work on the sales tool and be part of the launch. “Since then, I have been working part time at Stryker while in school which has been working out fantastic for me!”

Stryker and WMU long-term partners

The college has a long-standing relationship with Stryker notes Dr. Sime Curkovic, director of the integrated supply management program. “Stryker has always been a career destination for engaged, passionate and talented students from our college," says Dr. Sime Curkovic, director of the integrated supply management program. "Sara fits that profile exactly. She has already built strong and lasting relationships with her Stryker colleagues and works with people who, like her, are driven to make a difference. Stryker has done an exceptional job of offering the tools, responsibility, guidance and freedom students need to succeed moving forward."

In addition to hiring interns and professional staff, the company is involved with numerous experiential course projects.